Global Entrepreneur In Residence (GEIR)

The Global Entrepreneur In Residence (GEIR) program provides international students with opportunity to launch their entrepreneurial endeavors in Northeast Ohio.

Thank you to our sponsors!


If you are a international student entrepreneur at the ideation or startup phase, please apply using the following application. We accept applications on a rolling basis.

Apply Here


Your monetary contribution to Global Cleveland’s GEIR program helps keep international entrepreneurs in Cleveland. We appreciate your support.

Contact Us For Info


If you are a university with international students, provide technical assistance or mentoring for entrepreneurs in various fields, and want to become an affiliated partner, please contact us using the button below.

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Meet Our First GEIR Recipient

Aaron George | SupplyNow

Aaron George is the founder of SupplyNow, a company that services food suppliers by searching, shopping, and delivering anything a restaurant needs.

Born in Dubai, Aaron moved to Cleveland in 2015 and began attending Case Western Reserve University, where he studied civil engineering and business management. In 2019, Aaron began his company, SupplyNow.

Since the business’ conception, Aaron has completed several rounds of venture capital fundraising that raised around $660,000 for Supply Now. The company employs over 17 local individuals as of November 2022.

How It Works

Learn how Global Cleveland operates our GEIR program

Our program manager meets with possible founder candidates who want to move to Cleveland. Candidates include international seniors (graduate or undergraduate) at universities who want to start a company and newcomers with an idea who don’t have work permission pathways.

Founders submit their business plan/idea for evaluation by a 7-person committee made up of stakeholders and independent experts.

Founders are selected and onboarded.

Founders spend 8-10 hours a week supporting Global Cleveland’s entrepreneurial work or that of the school. Other time is spent developing their company.

Universities lend resources such as:

  • Market research
  • Maker spaces
  • Evaluative feedback

Local resources are also available to founders, like VC networks and incubators.

Within 12-18 months the founder transitions to an O-1A visa once enough capital has been raised.

The Benefits of Our Community Partner Model

Our GEIR program partners with colleges and universities in the region. Thanks to these partnerships, we maximize the applicant pool and expand access to resources for our founders.

Meet Our Community Partners

Gains of the GEIR Program

Short Term Gains

Companies being founded in NEO.

Keeping more international students here (currently only retaining 5%).

Local job creation.

Long Term Gains

Create a widespread culture of entrepreneurism.

A win-win for the region and university partners.

Long term population change.